After a tough conference loss to Strasburg two nights ago, the Pirates righted the ship against another strong IVC opponent. Facing Tuscarawas Central Catholic for the second time this season, Garaway was in a must win situation if they were to keep pace with Sandy Valley at the top of the league standings. The Pirates escaped the first game versus TCC with a narrow 1-0 win. This game seemed to be headed in the same direction.
The Garaway offense came out ripping the ball the first 4 innings, however, the Pirates headed back to the dugout each time with nothing to show. TCC seemed to always be in the right place at the right time to snag line drive after line drive.
Chelsi Rothacher started off with game with a single. After a popup, Kaitlyn Stress beat out a bunt to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Kassidy Reidenbach followed with a line shot to the TCC center fielder, who barely had to move. Allison Luneborg ended the inning with a deep drive that was run down along the left field line.
TCC had a great chance to get on the board in the bottom of the first. Brooke Beamer led off with a single and took second when the ball was bobbled in the outfield. A sacrifice moved Beamer to third base. With one out, Maggie Dominick ripped a line drive which looked to be headed into left field for an RBI single. Beamer took off from third on the hit. Pirate shortstop Zoe Johnson sprinted to her right, leaping high, to make a sensational grab. Johnson landed and tossed the ball to Allison Luneborg at third, easily doubling up Beamer.
Hannah Halstead lined a single to begin the second inning. Jocelyn Troyer moved courtesy runner Kallie Regula over to second with a sacrifice bunt. Now it was TCC’s turn to flash the leather. Shortstop Brooke Beamer got pay back when she went deep into the hole toward second base and snagged a liner off the bat of Amber Monigold. Beamer tossed to second to double up Regula and end the inning.
In the third inning Sierra Slentz was the next victim of the TCC defense, as Beamer caught a line drive to rob her of a hit. On the next play, Rothacher benefited from the only TCC error. A deep fly to center field was dropped and Rothacher ended up at second base. After a popup for out number two, TCC walked Kaitlyn Stress. Reidenbach followed, ripping a line drive to third baseman Dominick. Dominick reached to her left and caught the liner to end another Pirate threat.
The fourth inning proved to be much of the same for the Pirate offense. Domminick robbed Halstead with another line drive catch. That was sandwiched around a pair of fly ball outs down the left field line.
Reidenbach was firmly in control through the fourth inning. After the big defensive play to end the first, Reidenbach scattered a pair of hits over the next three innings.
The game turned in favor of the Pirates in the 5th inning. Monigold drilled a shot down the left field line for what looked to be a sure double, but a well-positioned defense made the play. After a popup for the second out, the Pirates finally put a ball out of reach of the TCC defense. Rothacher smashed a double to center field. Zoe Johnson followed with another double to put Garaway up 1-0. TCC pitcher Molly Triplett was able to end the inning with a come-backer off the bat of Stress.
Looking to even the game back up, Triplett led off the bottom of the 5th with a single. Reidenbach struck out the next batter. Marissa Long followed with a line drive toward right field. Pirate second baseman Madeline Smith made a fine grab and doubled up Triplett to end the inning.
It seemed as though once the Pirates broke loose for the first run of the game, all of a sudden the balls that wouldn’t drop earlier found the holes. TCC turned the pitching duties over to Sydney Gilland to start the 6th inning. Reidenbach greeted her with a single into the right field gap. Luneborg bunted courtesy runner Cassy Donaldson over to second base. Halstead hit a deep fly to right field for out number two.
Once again it was time for the Pirate’s two out magic. Jocelyn Troyer cranked a double to center field scoring Donaldson. Monigold stepped to the plate. The senior, playing the best softball of her high school career, is leading the team in home runs and RBI’s. Add another one to the stat line as Monigold deposited a pitch over the center field fence for her 5th home run of the year, putting Garaway up 4-0. Monigold spoke after the game about the Pirate hitting, “Hitting is contagious. With the whole team crushing the ball tonight, once we got the rally going, I just wanted to get a hard hit to bring Jocelyn in.” It was a hard hit indeed.
The contagious hitting was transmitted to the 7th inning. After a ground out and walk to start the inning, the hits continued to spread and flourish. Stress belted a double to bring Johnson home. Reidenbach singled, putting runners on the corners. Luneborg singled to score Stress. Troyer finished off the scoring with an RBI single to put Garaway up 7-0.
Reidenbach finished off the Saints in the seventh inning to pick up her second shutout win in a row. She struck out 8 while raising her record to 8-0.